Bob Duncan’s Address to the ACNA Provincial Council
We are now 22 dioceses stretching from Arctic Canada to the Rio Grande, and from Newfoundland to California. Three new dioceses were organized in preparation for this meeting of Provincial Council: the Mid-Atlantic, the Carolinas and the Southwest. A fourth, Cascadia – originally built from congregations that had been under Recife and from congregations of the Reformed Episcopal Church – sought change of status from diocese-in-formation to diocese. One Diocese has asked this Council for discharge, for recognition that its call as a diocese has been completed. The Diocese of the Holy Spirit grew out of the Missionary Convocation of Uganda. All of its congregations and clergy have now been dispersed to other dioceses and a remarkable chapter in our early history is closing. Holy Spirit’s bishop, John Guernsey, has been elected Bishop of the Mid-Atlantic, a diocese principally formed by parishes that had been under Nigeria (chiefly in CANA’s Anglican District of Virginia). But Mid-Atlantic also draws in some congregations that had been part of Southern Cone and others part of Uganda. In microcosm we see the transition from our early history of global protection and sponsorship toward domestic geographical coherence.
There are many evidences of God’s favor toward us, not because we deserve it, but because we continue to work so hard to align ourselves with His will. As this Provincial Council meets, I am announcing a re-organization of my team of advisors (my “cabinet”) to reflect where we are headed, rather than where we have been. This change is like the change represented in the diocesan stories just told. The Lead Bishops of the Common Cause Partnership – representing all the jurisdictions and organizations out of which the Anglican Church in North America was gathered – were the original Executive Committee of the Anglican Church in North America. Last June the transition was made to an Executive Committee of six clergy and six laity, chaired by the Archbishop. Yet because we are – in the best Anglican fashion – to be “episcopally led and synodically governed” [Lambeth Conference, 1930] the need for wisdom from Lead Bishops representing our jurisdictional and organizational roots caused me to retain a body that had literally led us together into unity. They ceased to be the Province’s Executive Committee, but became the Archbishop’s Cabinet.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal
Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)
Posted June 22, 2011 at 6:55 am
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1. Stefano wrote:
I was puzzled by something at the end which the Archbishop singles out for special consideration:
What is so stunning about this data is that the number of baptisms of those 16 and older is almost equal to the number of children baptized.
The numbers he cites are 424 for ages 16-30 and 1647 for “children”. In the context of the sample size and subject I am puzzled how these numbers could be termed “almost equal”.
June 22, 9:35 am | [comment link]
2. Sarah wrote:
I’m guessing that those 16 and older would include those older than 30 who have been baptized as well.
June 22, 10:08 am | [comment link]
3. Stefano wrote:
Ah Yes! 1411 is close to 1647. Thank you, Sarah. That many adult baptisms does mean significant growth.
June 22, 10:17 am | [comment link]
4. AnglicanFirst wrote:
Bishop Duncan said,
“If we are to “reach North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ” the principal way we will do this is through the local congregation. We say that every Anglican Church congregation is “accountable to the Holy Scriptures, accountable to the Tradition, and accountable for the transformation of society.”
“…gives us a glimpse of where they (and we) are going as we seek to do the necessary work of forming disciples able to make disciples, converted individuals who can make our congregations true agencies of societal transformation through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
What do “…accountable for the transformation of society.” and “…make our congregations true agencies of societal transformation…” have to do with individual Salvation.
Salvation is about the spiritual transformation of the individual, not the collective transformation of society.
It is a prayerful expectation that individuals spiritually transformed by acceptance of Jesus Christ as the only path to Salvation will interact with society in such a manner as to transform society for the better, but secular society is temporal and temporary while the fruits of Salvation are not of this world and are eternal.
“Transformation of society” and “societal transformation” are dogmatic slogans of the secularists and revisionists who are wreaking havoc with the Anglican Communion.
June 22, 12:06 pm | [comment link]
5. Stefano wrote:
June 22, 12:27 pm | [comment link]
... and yet one of the hallmarks of the early church was that they “... turned the world upside down” was it not?
6. AnglicanFirst wrote:
Reply to Stefano (#5.).
That was the impact of Christian belief that stimulated Christian conduct on the part of individuals accepting Christ as the only path to Salvation.
That impact changed ‘individual’ behavior and the congregation of “believers” individually changing their behavior had a global impact on the society of that time.
It was not the same thing as the 19th and 20th Century political collectivists who have attacked and damaged Christian believers.
June 22, 12:51 pm | [comment link]
7. Catholic Mom wrote:
There are many evidences of God’s favor toward us, not because we deserve it, but because we continue to work so hard to align ourselves with His will.
Uh oh….sounds just a tad like the dreaded “works” Gospel to me.
June 22, 1:44 pm | [comment link]
8. Cennydd13 wrote:
And now I wonder what TEC’s reaction to this will be? Can they stand to hear good news such as this? Are they going to turn green with envy? Can they stand being shown for what they really are? What spin will they put on it?
June 22, 3:01 pm | [comment link]
9. Northwest Bob wrote:
Working hard to align ourselves to His will is way better than working hard to do as we please. Aligning ourselves to His will does not strike me as a works gospel. Now, working hard on millinium development goals, there is a works gospel.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16
June 22, 5:53 pm | [comment link]
10. MichaelA wrote:
ACNA has certainly had a good start. I pray that they keep their emphasis on evangelism and church-planting - its easy to lose it and start to focus inwardly.
I don’t know that TEC wil take much notice, except insofar as it impacts on the fiercely disputed ground of the four dioceses. Much of ACNA’s church and mission planting seems to take place in areas that TEC leadership doesn’t seem to care about, or has abandoned.
June 22, 10:56 pm | [comment link]
11. MichaelA wrote:
Well spotted - it did read a bit like that! However, the speech overall seems pretty orthodox on Grace, so I’ll give the good archbishop a pass.
June 22, 10:57 pm | [comment link]
12. Cennydd13 wrote:
MichaelA, if TEC has abandoned areas as you say they have, it’s because they’ve abandoned Christ and His Gospel for one of social acceptance and immorality; “If it feels good, then it IS good.” They’ve created a vacuum in those areas, and the ACNA has moved in to fill that vacuum…....and we’re doing very well indeed in bringing the message of Christ and His Church to those who were abandoned by TEC, and it’s a new beginning for them.
June 23, 9:43 am | [comment link]
13. Catholic Mom wrote:
Well, see, we actually think God will show his favor towards us (in spiritual, not material, ways) if we work hard to align ourselves with His will. ‘Course there was that whole Reformation thing after which it wasn’t PC to say so.
June 23, 11:45 am | [comment link]
14. MichaelA wrote:
The Reformation didn’t make that much difference. Calvin and Aquinas are not very far apart on these things.
June 23, 6:30 pm | [comment link]
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